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On Iran – Fakenews From Newsweek

How fake news is made.

James Melville @JamesMelville – 19:10 UTC · Nov 14, 2022
Iran 🇮🇷The Iranian parliament has voted overwhelmingly to execute 15,000 protesters – and all because they dared to protest for the rights and freedoms of women not to wear a headscarf.

Absolutely despicable.

newsweek.com
Nearly 15,000 Iranians have been arrested in connection with the protests, which were spurred by the death of Mahsa Amini in September.

The above was retweeted more than 3,300 times. It is fake news. But you only learn that when you go back to the sources.

The Newsweek report linked in the tweet, though full of lies, does not say that the Iranian parliament “voted overwhelmingly to execute 15,000 protesters”.

But it comes near to that:

After numerous calls for harsh punishments in recent days, the Iranian parliament on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of the death penalty for protesters.

Iranian lawmakers have, in recent days, called for strict punishments for the protesters who have been arrested. On Monday, CNN reported that a letter signed by 227 members of the Iranian parliament urged that the protesters be given harsh punishment that “would serve as a good lesson in the shortest possible time.””Now, the public, even protesters who are not supportive of riots, demand from the judiciary and security institutions to deal with the few people who have caused disturbances in a firm, deterrent, and legal manner,” Iranian government spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said, according to Reuters.

On Tuesday, parliament did just that, voting to impose the death penalty on all protesters in custody as a “hard lesson” for all rebels. The majority in favor of the penalty was considerable, 227 out of the 290 total members, matching the number of lawmakers who signed the letter.

The above fake news piece also includes a tweet by a Ukrainian propaganda outlet:

ТРУХА⚡️English @TpyxaNews – 9:45 UTC · Nov 8, 2022Iran’s parliament voted by a majority (227 out of 290) to execute all protesters.

The authorities emphasize that the rebels need to be taught the most “hard lesson”.

In replies to that tweet someone asks for a source. In response another person post a link to an Iran International piece:

Iranian Lawmakers Urge Judiciary To Sentence Protesters To Death

Iran International is a Saudi financed TV channel and website made in Britain:

A UK-based Iranian TV station is being funded through a secretive offshore entity and a company whose director is a Saudi Arabian businessman with close links to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Guardian can reveal.The disclosures are likely to raise concerns about the editorial independence of Iran International, and comes at a time of growing fears about a number of Saudi-linked stations operating across London.

A source has told the Guardian that Prince Mohammed, who many believe is responsible for the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is the force behind Iran International. The station, which is operating out of Chiswick, has not denied claims that it receives its funding from the Saudi royal court.

Iran International TV emerged abruptly on the London media scene last year; many of the 100-strong staff network were offered generous salaries, often double what rivals paid, but was elusive about its source of funding.

The Iran International report claims:

A group of 227 parliament members in Iran has called on the Judiciary to issue death sentences for people arrested during the ongoing antigovernment protests.The parliament, elected in a non-competitive election in February 2020, is packed with hardliners and Revolutionary Guard officers.

In a statement that was read out in the parliament on Sunday, the lawmakers called the protesters ‘mohareb’ — which literally means warrior in Arabic, but in Islamic law or sharia it means ‘enemy of God’ that carries the death penalty. They also compared the protesters to members of ISIS, who “attack people’s lives and property…”

The Iranian regime has so far charged several people with ‘moharebeh,’ “corruption on earth,” “assembly and collusion against national security” and “confrontation with the Islamic Republic” for participating in the protests.

Moharebeh, or hirabah in Arabic, is a legal category for a number of crimes under Islamic law:

In Islamic law, hirabah is a legal category that comprises highway robbery (traditionally understood as aggravated robbery or grand larceny, unlike theft, which has a different punishment), rape, and terrorism. Ḥirābah (Arabic: حرابة) is an Arabic word for ‘piracy’, or ‘unlawful warfare’. It comes from the triliteral root ḥrb, which means “to become angry and enraged”. The noun ḥarb (حَرْب, pl. ḥurūb حُروب) means ‘war’ or ‘wars’.Moharebeh (also spelled muharebeh) is a Persian term that is treated as interchangeable with ḥirabah in Arabic lexicons. The related term muḥārib (محارب) (perpetrator of muḥāribah) has been translated by English language Iranian media as “enemy of God”.[ In English-language media sources Moḥarebeh in Iran has been translated variously as “waging war against God,” “war against God and the state,” “enmity against God.” It is a capital crime in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Peaceful protests are not a crime and do not fall under the moharebeh category. Extreme rioting can be a crime under the doctrine but the penalty for that varies and is not necessarily a sentence to death.

If the Newsweek writer had bothered to read the CNN piece he refers but does not link to, he would have know better than to claim that the parliament was “voting to impose the death penalty on all protesters”.

CNN wrote:

Iranian lawmakers have urged the country’s judiciary to “show no leniency” to protesters in a letter cited by state-run Press TV on Sunday, as thousands of people continue to rally on the streets despite the threat of arrest.

In an open letter signed by 227 of Iran’s 290 members of Parliament, Press TV reports the lawmakers calls for protesters to be taught a “good lesson” to deter others who threaten the authority of the Iranian government.“We, the representatives of this nation, ask all state officials, including the Judiciary, to treat those, who waged war (against the Islamic establishment) and attacked people’s life and property like the Daesh (terrorists), in a way that would serve as a good lesson in the shortest possible time,” the letter read according to state-run Press TV.

Lawmakers added that such a punishment – the methods of which were not specified – would “prove to all that life, property, security and honor of our dear people is a red line for this (Islamic) establishment, and that it would show no leniency to anybody in this regard.”

There was no vote in the Iranian parliament about the issue. There is an open letter, signed by all members of the conservative Principalist faction, that asked the Judiciary for harsh punishment or rioters. There is no mention of the moharebeh category or the death penalty.

Going even further down the source chain we can look at CNN‘s source, the Press TV report on the issue. It says:

Iranian lawmakers have called for firm punishment of those who incited the recent riots across the country and caused loss of life and extensive damage to public property.The call was made in a Sunday letter to the Judiciary, signed by 227 Iranian lawmakers, who asked the judicial officials to consider severe punishments for all those involved in the riots, both as agents on the ground and inciters.

“We, the representatives of this nation, ask all state officials, including the Judiciary, to treat those, who waged war [against the Islamic establishment] and attacked people’s life and property like the Daesh [terrorists], in a way that would serve as a good lesson in the shortest possible time,” they said.

The lawmakers added that such a punishment will “prove to all that life, property, security and honor of our dear people is a red line for this [Islamic] establishment, and that it would show no leniency to anybody in this regard.”

Again – no parliament vote, no mentioning of peaceful protesters, no request for the death penalty.

The Press TV report was posted on Sunday, November 6. On November 8 Reuters reported on the response of the Judiciary to the parliament letter. The Newsweek writer also got the date of the letter and the sequence wrong claiming that the parliament reacted to the judiciary. It did not:

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s courts will deal firmly with anyone who causes disruption or commits crimes during a wave of anti-government protests, the judiciary said on Tuesday, signalling the authorities intend to hand down harsh sentences to convicted demonstrators.

“Now, the public, even protesters who are not supportive of riots, demand from the judiciary and security institutions to deal with the few people who have caused disturbances in a firm, deterrent and legal manner,” judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said.

Reuters also lets us know that the ‘peaceful protests’ have, according to the U.S. financed opposition media, not been peaceful at all:

The activist HRANA news agency said that 318 protesters had been killed in the unrest as of Saturday, including 49 minors. Thirty-eight members of the security forces had also been killed, it said.State media said last month that more than 46 members of the security forces, including police officers, had been killed.

Police officers do not die from ‘peaceful protests’.

As I reported a month ago the current riots in Iran are concentrated in the southeastern Baluchistan region and in the northwestern Kurdish region of Iran. There are foreign financed terrorist movements active in both of those regions. Iran International, the Kurdish terrorist organization PDKI and other foreign entities are inciting the rioters:

PDKI @PDKIenglish – 20:43 UTC · Nov 14, 2022Now that the voices of the marginalized, the oppressed nations and all Iranian freedom fighters have echoed around the world, the message of death [to the regime] have reached Tehran. It is certain that we will be victorious.

Media like Newsweek, who publish fake news about Iran, are complicit in damages and deaths those riots are causing.

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